An insurance intermediary is a person or a company that helps you in buying insurance. Insurance agents, insurance brokers and financial advisers are insurance intermediaries.

On the other hand, a takaful intermediary is someone who solicits takaful business or invites potential customers to enter into takaful contracts with operators. They are also known as takaful agents and takaful brokers.
 
 
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An insurance or takaful agent represents an insurance company or takaful operator and primarily sells insurance policies or takaful plans issued by the insurance company or takaful operator it represents. An insurance or takaful broker on the other hand represents the customer and advises the customer on the most suitable insurance policy or takaful plan. A financial adviser is an independent party that provides financial planning services to the customer based on the customers’ financial needs.
 
These differences are illustrated in the table below:
Types of
Intermediaries
Representation /
Registration / Licensing
Insurance
Agent
Takaful
Agent
Insurance/
Takaful Broker
Financial
Adviser
Represents
Insurance
Company
Takaful
Operator
Customer
Customer
Licensed/Registered by:
PIAM
(general agents)
or LIAM
(life agents)
Registrar of
Takaful
Intermediaries
Bank Negara
Malaysia
Bank Negara
Malaysia
 
 
Deal with an agent, broker or financial adviser with the following characteristics:
 

Good knowledge of insurance and/or takaful products
Understands your needs and interests
Ensures you understand what you are buying
Does not over-promise or over-sell
Factual, not pushy or intimidating
Delivers quality and timely service
 
 
 
Protect your interests and rights:
 
Deal only with registered/licensed intermediaries.
   
Deal with intermediaries with proven track record or those with good
referral from friends and relatives.
   
Be truthful about yourself and declare material facts.
   
Never be persuaded to sign on blank forms or anything you don’t understand.
   
Never be persuaded to lapse an existing policy to buy a new life policy.
   
Ensure that you understand the products you are buying.
   
Read the policy benefits and terms carefully, and compare them with other similar products.
   
Shop around to get value for money.
   
Buy only what you need and what you can afford.
   
Ask for sales materials, for example the sales illustrations, product pamphlets or customer fact find form
(for life products only), and keep these documents safely.
   
When in doubt, always ask for more information from the intermediaries or seek clarification from the insurance company or takaful operator that offers the insurance or takaful products.
   
Ask for a receipt as the proof of premium payment and keep it safely.
 
When dealing with insurance intermediaries, you can expect certain standards in their professional conduct in handling your insurance needs. For instance, the intermediary is expected to:
 

Present his/her Agent’s Registration Card to you when requested (applicable only for insurance agents). A Takaful agent whose registration has been approved by the Registrar of Takaful Intermediary has an Authorisation Card with all his or her relevant details.

Exhibit good knowledge of the products and services offered by the insurance company or takaful operator. (In addition, insurance brokers and financial advisers are expected to exhibit good knowledge of products available in the market).

Make an effort to understand your insurance or takaful needs and assist you in the choice of insurance or takaful products and services.

Explain to you clearly the nature of information required in the proposal form and also the importance of disclosing material facts.

Explain clearly the main terms and conditions of the proposed insurance contract or takaful plan so as to help you understand what you are buying.

Draw attention to any restrictions and exclusions applicable under the proposed insurance contract or takaful plan.
 

Follow up and provides continuous service to you, such as renewal of policy and provide updates on relevant new products.
 

Provide assistance when you are making claims against the insurance company or takaful operator.